One year after its start, the Mills College Poetry Slam Club will be heading to Richmond, Va. to compete against other schools in a nationally recognized poetry slam. To celebrate their accomplishment, the club held a send-off performance on Thursday, March 12.
The College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, or CUPSI, is a collegiate level poetry slam, one of several national slams occurring each year. The send-off was a chance for members of the Mills team to practice and receive support from their peers before departing for the competition which will take place from March 25 to 28.
The club is supported by two co-coaches, local poets Joshua Merchant and Jari Bradely, who showcased their talent alongside their team.
“I think they’re going to make themselves proud, and make us proud in return as coaches,” Bradley said.
About forty people attended the send-off. From start to end, the evening was filled with snaps and claps.
“I lov[ed] it. It’s the first time today that I haven’t blamed my eyes being watery on allergies,” Mills student Annie Wolf said. “It was great. It’s very Mills.”
Sophomore Kate Kolden also thought the send-off was moving.
“They’ve definitely improved a lot,” Kolden said. “ [Wolf and I] were at one of their previous performances. They’ve improved on things that I didn’t think could be improved.”
Audience members were not the only ones to be surprised by the performances.
“It was really exciting to see everyone else’s new drafts, because today was the first time I’ve seen these versions of the poems,” team member Senior Brenna Baker said.
Founder and president of the team, senior Amanda Meth, started the club after transferring to Mills last year and noticing a lack of an active poetry scene. Just one year later, Meth is excited to see that Mills will be represented for the first time this year at CUPSI.
“At the end of the day we’re [going to] do our best, and take it as a learning experience…[and] just have fun,” Meth said.